Game Day: December 31, 1998
Though TCU had only six wins throughout the season, the Horned Frogs were able to appear as a result of the Big Ten not having a No. 5 bowl-eligible team to send to the game. The win was TCU’s first bowl win in 41 years.
TCU held the USC offense to minus-23 yards rushing, which set a Sun Bowl record for least net yards rushing and fewest rushing attempts made (21). TCU linebackers Kam Hunt and London Dunlap combined for three sacks for a total loss of 29 yards against freshman quarterback Carson Palmer.
TCU tailback Basil Mitchell’s rushing performance of 185 yards on 19 attempts (9.7 avg.) placed him second on the Sun Bowl list of top five single-game rushing performances.
TCU’s rushing offense (314 yards) overshadowed their passing offense as it recorded only 51-yards compared to USC’s 280-yards of total net passing.
Mitchell was named the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player, TCU defensive end London Dunlap was named the Jimmy Rogers, Jr. Most Valuable Lineman and USC place kicker Adam Abrams was named the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams Player.
USC linebacker Chris Claiborne was the 1998 Butkus Award Winner and was a unanimous All-American.
USC’s Carson Palmer would go on to capture the Heisman Trophy in 2002.
TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson would go on to win the Doak Walker Award and become an All-American selection in 2000. He was named to the 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team as a kick returner.
The 46,612 in attendance ranked as the eighth largest crowd in Sun Bowl history at the time.